Garry Ridge

Episode 30 – Garry Ridge – Creating an Empowering Company Culture

In this episode of Doing the Opposite: Business Disruptors, Jeff Dewing speaks to Garry Ridge. Garry is a founder, board member, advisor, and professor with over 35 years of experience in leading, growing, and transforming global businesses and brands. Garry is best known as Chairman Emeritus of WD-40 Company, one of the world’s most trusted and recognised brands.

Garry takes us through his career journey at WD-40, from working in distribution to launching the Australian arm using a fax machine under his bed! Garry became Global CEO in 1994 and led the business for 25 years, growing the company six times in revenue and increasing the market cap from about 300 million to 2.5 billion. Garry’s proudest achievement though is that 98% of people at WD-40 companies said they loved working at the company.

With clear purpose, values, and strategy, Gary emphasises the importance of looking after your people, especially in times of crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic. Discover how to replace fear with learning moments and create a safe, supportive environment that fosters growth and success. Gary’s journey with WD-40 showcases the potential that lies in the power of people and culture.

Garry introduces us to a character he created – Al, or Alice the soul-sucking CEO. Garry uses this character in keynotes to highlight the negative character traits in many managers. Everyone knows a boss like Al or Alice, but you have to avoid these behaviours in order to get the most from your team.

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